Music Video: Korn - <i>Rotting In Vain</i>
Issue: August 1, 2016

Music Video: Korn - Rotting In Vain

Director Dean Karr ( recently completed work on a new music video for the ‘nu metal’ band Korn, which ties into the band’s forthcoming album, “The Serenity of Suffering,” scheduled for release on October 21st. Karr had written music video treatments for the band a number of times in the past, but the Rotting In Vain project marks the first successful collaboration.

Karr was very active in the music video business earlier in his career, but says in the past 15 years, budgets and expectations have changed considerably. Today, he selectively picks and chooses which projects he wants to work on. For example, back in November, he traveled to Croatia to work on a music video he found interesting. He continues to work as a photographer and fine artist, as well as directs commercials and features.

In the case of Korn, the band’s management contacted him and asked him to write a treatment. He spent approximately two days developing the concept for Rotting In Vain. 

“I like to get into lyrics and what (Korn singer) Jonathan (Davis) is talking about,” says Karr of his creative process. “This was more of a free-form, old-school, artistic piece. It’s a simple story and it came out great. I am so happy with it.”

The video stars Tommy Flanagan (Sons of Anarchy) and is set in Victorian-era United States. Flanagan’s character finds relief from life’s stresses by secretly inhaling gas up in his attic. With each hit, one of the band members is brought to life elsewhere in the house. A number of small animals, preserved through taxidermy, populate the space.

The video was shot using a Red Dragon camera at a one-time brothel in Los Angeles. “It’s a place I never even knew was there,” says Karr. “I’ve shot everywhere downtown that I can think of in the last 25 years. It was an old brothel that has only been available to film crews for the last two years. It’s amazing! I could go back there five times and make it look different each time.”

Karr brought in all the props, including vintage clocks and medical devices, along with the taxidermy. In addition to the music video, Karr also shot the still photography that will be featured in “The Serenity of Suffering” album.

“It was one very-long, 17-hour day,” he recalls. 

Adam Santelli served as director of photography. “He’s pretty much done the last 10 years of anything I had done,” says Karr. “He’s the greatest and makes everything look so delicious. I love to hear what he’d like to propose. And if I want to operate a camera, he’s always understanding.”

The project made use of just a single camera. “That location was so tight, I wouldn’t have even known where to put a second camera,” Karr laughs.

The edit was performed by Jonathan Covert using Adobe Premiere. “He had always been my main editor’s assistant,” Karr explains. “I gave him a chance with this one. He is a huge Korn fan and I knew he would do a great job. We set up at my house and it was really convenient and fun to work at home.”

The video was shot in early July and the final edit runs 3:59. The online was completed using Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve. It premiered on Friday, July 22nd on the Rolling Stone Website and was posted to Korn’s site the following day.